RMGC: Licence to exploit Rosia Montana project is secret, according to Romanian law

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The licence to exploit the Rosia Montana project is secret as this is what the Romanian law stipulates and we do not want to break the law, Dragos Tanase, managing director of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), told the Antena 3 TV channel on Saturday evening.

'Rosia Montana is given no special treatment, but we are in a legal framework. We have made public all the important information in the contract. This licence refers to the geological contents of the deposit at Rosia Montana. We have invested tens of millions of dollars in this programme,' said Tanase.

According to the RMGC official, building the mine at Rosia Montana will have a positive impact on the environment from the very beginning.

"Besides the mine we are building at Rosia Montana, we also take over the environment obligations, namely we pledge to rehabilitate the environment, not at the end of the exploitation, but at the beginning of the exploitation. These acid waters will disappear from Rosia Montana as soon as we finish building the mine. We shall pant trees, we shall plant one thousand hectares of woods before starting the mining operations and in 20-year operations we shall deforest 250 hectares. Besides the jobs in the mining exploitations, we shall employ another few hundred people in collateral programmes,' explained the RMGC manager.

The final decision on the controversial gold mining project Rosia Montana is up to Parliament to make and after 15 years of delays the Government has done its duty in relation to this issue, Prime Minister Victor Ponta told the Government at the beginning of a meeting on September 11.

Environment Minister Rovana Plumb has signed and approved the draft law on the Rosia Montana gold mining project, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said recently. He added that if the draft law cleared Parliament, an environmental certificate would also be issued for the same project.

The Romanian Government on August 27, 2013 passed a draft law on the Rosia Montana gold mining project.

On September 9, the Romanian Senate's legal commission issued a unanimous negative opinion on the draft law concerning gold and silver mining at Rosia Montana, which was to be debated in urgent procedures.

The Rosia Montana open cast mining project is expected to generate approximately 2.3 billion dollars in aggregate revenues to the state budget and local budgets, plus direct effects on the Romanian economy worth about 2.9 billion dollars, calculated for a reference price of 1,200 dollars/ounce (stockpile bullions); the project's total direct economic benefits for Romania are estimated at over 5.2 billion dollars, according to the draft agreement on specific measures related to the exploitation of gold and silver ores in the Rosia Montana perimeter, published on the website of the Department for Infrastructure Projects and Foreign Investments.

Of the 2.3 billion dollars, 591 million dollars will result from gold and silver mining royalties. Dividends collected by the Romanian State, as a shareholder, through Minvest or the successor of Minvest, will reach 580 million dollars, the corporate tax is 445 million dollars, and the tax on dividends and interests of non-residents accounts for 368 million dollars.

The state will also collect 200 million dollars in taxes and social security contributions related to wages, 115 million dollars in excise duties on fuel, plus 56 million dollars in other taxes and dues (taxes on property, the environment fund, the mining license tax, royalties for the machinery used in building the mine, taxes for construction permits, taxes on the repurposing of land under forest, other fees).

"For the Romanian State to work out an as accurate as possible projection of the budget resources obtained from the Rosia Montana mine exploitation, the investor undertakes to provide to the Ministry of Public Finance, within three months from the end of each tax period of RMGC, the table with the direct benefits, updated with the fluctuations of the parameters that are determinant for these benefits. In addition to the benefits to the Romanian State, the investor undertakes, while fully carrying out the operations provided for in the assessment report on the environmental impact study of RMGC, to create and maintain an average of 2,300 direct jobs during the construction of the mining project and an average of 900 direct jobs during the operation phase," the draft agreement reads.

Also, should the investor intentionally fail to comply with these provisions, the Romanian State is entitled to request and obtain from Gabriel Resources (GBU) reasonable compensation for any direct damage incurred, if GBU and the RMGC are unable to offer remedy for the violations in a reasonable term.AGERPRES

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